Issued by the Scottish Parliament:
A European cash injection of more than £34 million will be invested in programmes to develop Scotland's workforce and safeguard and create jobs.
Speaking at a National Job Summit in Glasgow, First Minister Alex Salmond outlined the new allocations from the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) that will help 28,000 people to gain or sustain employment opportunities through skills development and support the creation of 193 jobs.
Funding of £18 million will go towards 43 projects in the Highlands and Islands area which will provide more than 5,000 individuals with help and support to enter employment.
First Minister Alex Salmond said. "The Scottish Government is doing all we can to ensure a strong economic recovery and to secure and safeguard jobs. We are using all our economic levers to support individuals, businesses and communities through the downturn and towards sustainable economic growth.
"This announcement of more than £34 million European funding will deliver vital support such as training opportunities to communities across Scotland, helping 28,000 individuals find fresh employment while assisting business growth, urban regeneration and rural development.
"Our Economic Recovery Plan has directly supported up to 15,000 jobs in the Scottish economy and this further investment will build on our efforts towards ensuring people across Scotland can achieve their potential through employment and make a valuable contribution to increasing Scotland's sustainable economic growth."
"This Government is committed to working with our partners in local authorities, enterprise networks, the voluntary sector, business community, unions and colleges and universities to ensure that Scotland is an attractive environment for investment, with the skilled workforce and quality infrastructure required for success.
Convener of The Highland Council Councillor Sandy Park said: "These latest approvals will greatly enhance the capacity of Highland based organisations to assist some of the region's most deprived and excluded communities to access support services and employment."
The allocations of European funding for projects in the Highlands and Islands are:
- Highland - £1,280,000 from the European Social Fund and £2,441,000 European Regional Development Fund
- Argyll & Bute - £200,000 from the European Regional Development Fund
- Moray - £287,000 from the European Social Fund and £53,000 European Regional Development Fund
- Orkney - £3.7 million from the European Social Fund and £176,000 European Regional Development Fund
- Shetland £2.7 million from the European Social Fund
- Eilean Siar (Western Isles) - £3.7 million from the European Social Fund and £1.1 million European Regional Development Fund
Projects receiving funding include:
- Enterprise Sells at North Highland College (£153,195) will address the need to create new and grow existing businesses in the North Highland area by providing opportunities and support to potential entrepreneurs
StARTworks (£110,500) - an 8-week course designed to help those who are over 18 and unemployed to progress towards employment or training
- Glasgow Works (£2.8 million) targets groups alienated from the labour market - lone parents, ethnic minorities, Incapacity Benefit recipients, young people not in education or employment - by setting goals, increasing skills, and helping them into employment, training or further education
- Outer Hebrides Employability Support Programme (£1 million) will target people identified as being furthest removed from the labour market and provide support into employment
- Dundee CPP (£1.6 million) supports projects such as Craigowl Communities - 'Skills for Success' - an initiative offering the skills and experiences needed to allow disadvantaged individuals to progress either to further learning opportunities or directly into work.
Renfrewshire CPP (£1.1 million) supports projects including 'Children in transition from School to Work (including those attending Special Educational Needs)' - providing assistance for the transition from mainstream education to further education, training and employment.
The funding will be used to assist Community Planning Partnerships (CPPS) ongoing work to support employability in their areas. The 11 CPPs which applied for the latest funding, as well as CPPs in Clackmannanshire and Edinburgh, have already received a share of over £50 million from the 2007-13 European Structural Funds programme.
The new allocations are:
- Dundee - £1.6 million from the European Social Fund
- East Ayrshire - £1.4 million from the European Social Fund, £153,000 from the European Regional Development Fund
- Fife - £1.7 million from the European Social Fund, £47,000 from the European Regional Development Fund
- Glasgow - £2.8 million from the European Social Fund
- Inverclyde - £634,000 from the European Social Fund, £88,000 from the European Regional Development Fund
- North Ayrshire - £366,000 from the European Social Fund, £148,272 from the European Regional Development Fund
- North Lanarkshire - £2.1 million from the European Social Fund, £1.3 million from the European Regional Development Fund
- Renfrewshire - £901,000 from the European Social Fund, £234,000 from the European Regional Development Fund
- South Lanarkshire - £1.2 million from the European Social Fund, £258,000 from the European Regional Development Fund
- West Dunbartonshire - £444,000 from the European Social Fund
- West Lothian - £580,000 from the European Social Fund, £48,000 from the European Regional Development Fund